One of the things that surprises me time and time again is how we think our brains work and how they actually work. For example, I always found it understandable that we can multitask, but according to the research, it's impossible for our brains to handle two tasks at the same time.
Much like reading books, paying attention in class is a critical piece of academic success and an area ripe for student incentives. Why not reward students for their attention, with the smartphone as a measurement tool?
Campers left relaxed and more aware of their time-consuming relationship with technology. Activities like yoga, stargazing and pillow fights sound like a good time -- though I imagine some liquor wouldn't have hurt.
We are all incredibly busy. But, Emerson's quote reminds me that "busyness" alone will never bring us the success of which he speaks. In fact, I'm starting to understand that a life based solely on "busyness" risks the opposite of success.
Can we find a middle ground here? Maybe not so far back as kicking tumbleweed down Main Street, but at least spending some quality time with the people in our lives and putting down our devices sometimes so we can be present with others and ourselves?
I've found that checking out, taking time away from my phone rather than burying myself in it, has given me a new ability to focus on one thing at a time.
Our ability to focus on different things is one of the strengths of our truly incredible brains. It's a skill we would definitely not want to lose. However, psychologists and neurobiologists have both shown that we pay a price when we multitask.